If you live in a flood-prone state like Louisiana or Florida, you have probably seen firsthand the damage that floods can inflict on vehicles. In order to protect your car from flood damage, you need to invest in comprehensive car insurance. Unlike collision insurance, which only protects you in the event of a car crash with another driver, comprehensive car insurance covers natural disaster, theft and vandalization.
A flood can inflict a huge wave of damage on your vehicle, and without comprehensive insurance, you could be stuck paying for repairs out of your own pocket. Contact your auto insurance company to find out whether or not you have comprehensive car insurance. If you don’t and you live in a flood-prone area, consider adding it right away.
What Should You Do When Your Car Sustains Flood Damage?
When your area gets flooded, you have more to worry about than just water damage. Floods bring mud, debris and mold growth into your damaged properties.
If your car has been damaged by a flood, do not start it. This could damage the engine further. Instead, you should:
- Examine the interior and exterior to determine how much water and mud entered your vehicle. A fully submerged car will have much more damage than a car with only a little floor damage.
- Contact your insurance company. Your insurance company will probably have many calls to answer after a flood, so it may take you a few tries to get through.
- Dry out the interior of your vehicle as well as possible. Mold can grow quickly in a wet car, so the quicker you can dry it out the better.
- Check your car’s fluids and air filter. If your oil, air filter, brake system or power steering is damaged, starting your car could be dangerous.
- Check your wheels, tires and electrical systems. Water can damage your electrical systems, and mud and debris can get stuck in your wheels and tires.
- Take your car to an auto shop. Mechanics in a flood-prone city understand how to get water-damaged cars back up and running.
What Does Your Insurance Agent Need to Know?
In order to get you the compensation you need after a flood, your insurance agent needs to know a few things about your vehicle and the incident that occurred. Your insurance agent will ask you for:
- Your name and address;
- Your policy number;
- Your vehicle’s make, model and VIN; and
- A description of the damage to your vehicle.
Depending on your specific plan and company, you may be asked to provide additional information. Cooperating with your insurance agent and giving the requested information quickly and accurately will make the process easier.
Always Be Prepared
It’s like the old saying goes – hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. No one wants to imagine dealing with the fallout of a flood, but it’s necessary to have a plan in place in case you find yourself in the middle of a natural disaster. Contact your car insurance agent as soon as possible to go over your current coverage and your options to protect yourself in the event of a flood.